According to a survey by the Children’s Society, 13 per cent of parents end up in debt to cover the cost of school uniforms, and a new scheme from Bristol City Council hopes to mitigate this.
Supporting families struggling to pay for uniforms ahead of the new school year, the council is encouraging people to donate items they no longer need.
Unwanted uniform items can be donated at a central donation point in City Hall, which will be distributed to families in need at the end of the summer holidays.
Families in Focus teams, children’s centres, community organisations and food banks will distribute the items to families in need across the city.
“Many families across the city are struggling financially in the economic fall-out of the Covid-19 crisis and buying a school uniform is another expense for parents who are already under a lot of pressure,” says Helen Godwin, cabinet member for women, children and young people.
“Parents are having to cut back on essentials or get into debt just to buy their children’s school uniforms.
“Often a perfectly good uniform could go to landfill because it doesn’t fit any more, so we’d like to appeal to parents in Bristol to instead donate what they don’t need to help someone else.”
The Children’s Society also found that families of parents of primary school children on average spend £25 a year on uniforms, and the council hope to help less advantaged families save this money at a difficult time.
A donation point has been set up in the foyer of City Hall and will be open every weekday from 7am to 7pm until Friday, August 21.
All donations should be unbranded, clean, washed and in good condition.
Anyone in need of a uniform ahead of the autumn term can contact their local ward councillor or the Mayor’s Office via email@example.com.
Main photo: Cando Bristol